About Chemawa Indian School
Chemawa Indian School is a private boarding school for Native American students from grades 9-12 run by the Bureau of Indian Education in Salem, Oregon. Students come to Chemawa from many different tribes all over the western United States with large portions of the student body originating from tribes in Arizona, Montana, California, Alaska, Washington, and New Mexico. The facility is built to serve up to 400 students at a time and specializes in technology integration into education.
The Chemawa Campus
The campus is over 300 acres and includes a challenge course, wetlands, a small forest, football, baseball and softball fields, a swimming pool, an auditorium and gymnasium. Some of the vast acreage of the campus is leased to local farmers for growing Christmas trees in an attempt to use the land responsibly.
Native American Culture at Chemawa
Warner Austin heads up the performing arts group at Chemawa which encourages students to practice their own traditions and to learning drumming and pow wow traditions. This group performs at many community events. If you are interested in seeing them perform or helping them to continue educating students in Native Culture please contact Mr. Austin by calling 503-399-5721 and asking for him.
Technology at Chemawa
In 2012 the school obtained iPads and piloted them in a 1 to 1 program that was very instructive. SMART boards are used in nearly every classroom and the school uses a computer lab and several laptop labs to facilitate flexible classroom instruction.
Partnerships at Chemawa
In 2006 the Marion County Sheriff’s Department began to play a role on campus, developing positive relationships with students through interaction and helping to keep the campus safe. In 2010, through a memorandum of understanding, they began to play a much expanded role on campus. Students can now be processed through the local juvenile justice system for crimes committed on campus and can receive help and services through that same system.
The Western Oregon Service Unit for Indian Health Services (IHS) is located on the Chemawa campus. They graciously serve Chemawa students with medical, dental, vision and counseling services whenever they are needed. The clinic staff also come to many school events including pow wows and sporting events, supporting students enthusiastically.
Beginning in the early 2000s with students at Willamette University the Chemawa Partnership Program is a rich and diverse program supporting Chemawa students through tutoring, both at night and in the AVID classroom as well as many other cultural and college success related activities. The program brings college students onto campus to interact with students, creating the opportunity for learning on both sides.